By Mike Phillips
Corsicana Daily Sun
History class was never this much fun.
Not even the good parts.
Nope, the Frost Polar Bears wrote their own chapter in history Thursday night, beating Overton 42-27 in the opening round of the Class 1A state playoffs at Palestine’s Wildcat Stadium to become the first football team from Frost to win playoff games in back-to-back seasons.
Coach Eric Blenden and his kids talked all week about making history and what it would mean to the team and the program.
And then they did it.
They won with a tough, grind-it-out offense and the no-nonsense running of Woody Woods and Robert Worley, who ran head first into history and a classic rematch.
Everyone remembers Frost’s inspirational run through the playoffs last year that ended in the state quarterfinals against Tenaha when Frost fumbled the ball just two yards short of the goal line at the gun to lose in heartbreaking fashion.
Guess who the Polar Bears get next week in the area round of the playoffs?
Yup, Tenaha. That’s 8-1 Tenaha that’s ranked in the top three in most state polls.
Frost (which is a lot better than its 6-5 record) kept the date with Woods and Worley combining to rush for 377 yards and four touchdowns. Quarterback Zach Terry didn’t have to throw much, but oh did he look good when he did put the ball in the air. Just look at the final seconds of the first half.
Frost built a 22-0 lead on a Woods’ 2-yard TD run, a 23-touchdown run by Worley, and Woods added an 8-yard TD run with 9:37 left in the half. But Overton, which used its big, powerful tailback Jamal Kelly to do most of the damage all night, finally scored on a fourth-down play just before halftime. The Mustangs (3-7) drove to the Frost 2 and on fourth-and-1 Julian Herndon, who was making his first carry of the night, powered in for a touchdown with 31 seconds left and Michael Phillips kicked the extra point to make it a 22-7 game.
Woods grabbed a low kick and returned it 30 yards to the 50, and Frost took over with no time outs and little chance of scoring. That’s when Terry put on his Superman cape (or maybe it was a Peyton Manning jersey). Whatever the metaphor, Terry was terrific. He hit Woods with a 29-yard screen pass to the 21, then stopped the clock with a spike. With 11 seconds left, Terry found Alex Cruz on the right side for a 15-yard pass that Cruz caught before weaving his way into the end zone with four seconds left in the half. Just-like-that, Frost had scored again and went to the break leading 28-7.
But the Polar Bears lived on the run most of the night with a whirlwind -- make that a Worley-Wood-wind attack. Or just call them the W’s. If one W doesn’t get you, the other one will.
Woods finished the game with 222 yards on 25 carries and three TDs, and Worley, who broke four tackles on his 23-yard run to give the Bears a 14-0 lead with 1:57 left in the first quarter, finished with 155 yards on 24 carries and his one highlight tape TD run. He also intercepted a pass.
WW.Frostwillrunandrunhard was the bread and butter to an offense that saw its linemen out-work Overton up and down the field.
It did get tense in the second half.
Kelly, who finished with 222 yards on 23 carries ignited a TD drive for the Mustangs when he went 75 yards to highlight a 96-yard drive that started after Overton held Frost on downs at the 4. Kelly finished the drive with a 5-yard run to close to 28-14 with 4:58 left in the third, and Overton, which held Frost on downs at the 13, scored again to open the fourth on a 26-yard TD pass from Brayton Pierce to Daniel Gomez to cut the lead to 28-20 with 11:24 left in the game --- and Terry’s last second heroics before the half looked mighty big.
But the WW’s went back to work and after a scramble for the ball on an onside kick that Frost won, the Polar Bears marched 51 yards in three plays. Woods had a 34-yard romp to the 14 and then scored on another tough-running effort for his third TD of the night and with Worley’s 2-point run, the W’s lifted Frost to a 36-20 lead with 10:30 left and took back the momentum.
They kept it, and after picking up a fumble, the Bears drove 55 yards and scored on Chris Belcher’s 1-yard run to make it a 42-20 game with 4:37 left.
The Tenaha coaches who were watching the game knew who their next opponent was at that point, and Frost sailed into history with a landmark win …
History class has never been this much fun ...
Frost 14 14 0 14 — 42
Overton 0 7 7 13 — 27
F — Woody Woods 2 run (Worley run) 6:59
F — Robert Worley 23 run (run fails) 1:57
F — Woods 8 run (Woods run) 9:37
O — Julian Herndon 2 run (Michael Phillips kick) 0:31
F — Alex Cruz 21 pass from Zach Terry (run fails) 0:04
O — Kelly 5 run (Phillips kick) 4:58
O: Daniel Gomez 26 pass from Brayton Pierce (kick fails) 11:24
F — Woods 14 run (Worley run) 10:30
F — Chris Belcher 1 run (kick fails) 4:37
O — Thomas Cary 7 pass from Pierce (Phillips kick) 2:14
Rushing -- O: Jamal Kelly 23-225, Julian Herndon 5-12. F: Woody Woods 25-222, Robert Worley 24-155, Alex Cruz 7-55, Chris Belcher 1-1.
Passing -- O: Brayton Pierce 13-16-136. F: Zach Terry 2-3-50.
Receiving O: Herndon 2-30, Daniel Gomez 2-19, Damion Dennis 4-20. F: Woods 1-29, Cruz 1-21.